Built my own PC 5 years back, in need of upgrade advice please
Hi all, new to the forum, glad to be here, I used to frequent the old FutureMusic forum for advice a few years back, it was very helpful then, hopefully you will be able to help me again.
I built a PC about 5 years ago, it was primarily going to be used as a DAW but after moving in with an ex-girlfriend, the music hobby got side lined and the computer soon became our 'everyday use' PC.
It was ( or still is infact...it's been up in the loft ever since) a:
Pentium P4 2.53GHz
Asus P4PE mobo,
2x Seagate Barracuda HD's,
1x Gb of Crucial DDR2 RAM ( 2x Gb MAX!!! )
32Mb Matrox Graphics Card
Audiophile2496 Sound Card
Lian Li PC61 ATX case
Quiet PC 100W psu
Win XP home
My question is: I wanna upgrade a few things and want to get back into audio, clearly I can hang onto the Lian Li case as it is a big ole thing with plenty of spare bays but I want to upgrade the amount of RAM and there is my predicament.
My mobo can only take 2 Gb, but I was looking at going to 4 Gb at least....so a new mobo is in order...and a new cpu to match.
Should I be looking at a Core 2 Duo or even a Core 2 Quad...or save up and go for this new i7?
I found that building a PC was pretty easy but deciding on the spec a different matter, but a few years ago, the starting point ( i.e the cpu ) was alot easier to decide upon but now, there is a bewildering amount of options.
I would like to, at some point get Cubase 5 as my program of choice and with an upgrade budget of £400, where should I be focusing my money?
IMHO a Core 2 Duo should be fine for normal audio stuff. An Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 plus Asus P5KPL Mobo set you back £120. This way you can put in your 4GB RAM which is definitely a good idea for performance.
Get yourself over to the forums on overclockers.co.uk. All the help you need.
As for Quad/Duo, If the software you will use will run 4 cores then Q6600 are great value but most dont and those chips are not efficient. Generally speaking I think you are still better off with a good 2 core.
Dont spend loads on high speed RAM. DDR2 6400 is just fine (check out the FSB of the CPU you chose and see the above site for all the info)
My own spec is an Asus P5K motherboard and a Q6600 with 4gb of the above ram. Now 2 years old and I dont feel the need to upgrade.
A dual core is more than enough for now. The E8500 CPUs are very quick.
Don't forget a new PSU too. You'll most likely need a 500W one to be safe. Antec is the best brand i've used after much experimentation. 4GB RAM will only be seen with a 64 bit OS don't forget. A 32bit OS will anly see about 3GB, although that should be enough.